Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Art For the Storm

There are a bunch of great artists donating work to this fundraiser, a great opportunity to find some amazing work at a bargain price. Please if you can help spread the word about this event.  

Openings will hold a one day sale of art from the members of the Collective to benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

When: Sunday, December 9 from 11am to 5pm

Where: St. Paul the Apostle Parish Center, 405 W. 59th St., between Columbus (9th) Ave and 10th Ave. Manhattan.

Artists contributing work: Joey Kilrain, Denise Penizzotto, Sandra Mack Valencia, Walter O'Neil, Daniel Nelson, Frank Sabatté, Robert Aitchison, Michael Berube, Iliyan Ivanov, Marjan Moghaddam, Anthony Santella, Keena Gonzalez, Johanna Bartelt and Mark Brennan.

100% of the proceeds from sales will go to the Mayor's Fund of NYC and will be directed to Hurricane Relief. 100% of funds received go to New Yorkers in need.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

First Person Plural Looms

Looking forward to First Person Plural  (and having my piece for it done). That hasn't happened yet, but all the graphics for the show are now safely done. Their history is likely of interest to no one but myself, but I really love seeing the evolution of something, so for the two people that may actually care:

The Matlab scatter plot that the concept started with. Ive forgotten exactly how I built it, but I believe it is a couple different Gaussian samples superimposed, each with random sizes of a different mean.

A couple highlights from the sickening range of designs we went through in converging to the final version. Not much of the scatter plot survived, I spent a lot of time drawing extra dots by hand. Of course in the end the postcards wound up cropped totally differently by the printer...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Wolf Day Two

I put in a good chunk of time on the wolf today during Teaneck Creek's Plein Air painting event. Alas, I missed out on painting but instead made some good progress on the wolf:

Woodcarving Show

Though it sometimes feels like it, no, I am not the only woodcarver out there.

Next weekend I'll be at the Northern NJ Woodcarvers 28th Wildlife Art and Woodcarving show Oct 27th, 28th Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 10am-4pm At the Wayne PAL in Wayne NJ. Come check it out. See the website for more details.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Wolf Day One

Much delayed I got by Teaneck Creek this Sunday to put a half day into working on the second of the three carvings, the wolf.  A bit of roughing with chainsaw and gouges later, we're here. It doesn't look like much now but more will come.

In other news I spotted this while walking along the trails. Its relatively rare that I have almost no idea what something is. Fungal I presume, but nothing I immediately recognize...

Sunday, October 7, 2012


My wife and I were at a wedding Saturday, and outside the church was an oak tree completely ringed with bright orange mushrooms.


The pictures don't really do justice to how bright and striking they were in life, just one of those little unexpected wonders. Poking around online I have seen a bunch of pictures of similar ones, but cant quite identify what they are. Made me regret that I am not a mushroom person, and so can't tell an edible from inedible one, was definitely tempted to take a few home with me...

Friday, September 14, 2012

Frenzy Into Folly is Up

The show is up, and now I get to sleep, which is more exciting?...
New York folk, don't miss the opening:
Next Thursday Sept 20th 7-9pm,
Church of St Paul the Apostle, Columbus and 60th.

And The Thorns Sprang Up, limewood,cherry, steel, 2012

A shot of my finished piece installed. If downsampled sufficiently this almost gives the impression my camera can take useful pictures set to 2400.

And earlier in the day in my office.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Promo video is up for my piece that will be in the upcoming show Frenzy into Folly, opening Thu, Sept 20th 2012. I better finish the piece by then...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Miracle

I had heard the claim that you could get figs to ripen early by smearing the mouths with olive oil. I once tried it with uncertain results, and so kind of classed it as a superstition. Growing figs in Northern NJ is kind of a crap shoot. I got maybe two from old wood so far and look anxiously at the new wood ones wondering if they will ripen before the first frost.. This Saturday I figured what the heck and smeared a dozen or two of the largest ones. I really can't believe that three days later they're not fully ripe, but pretty bloody close... I'm converted. 


Anonymous Japanese Author?, ink on paper, 2004
Another random old drawing come across cleaning the studio. From back when I played around with a brush painting style, I'm 90 percent certain that this is a study for a planned but never executed series depicting the suicides of famous Japanese authors, as I was reading a lot of them at the time.  I can figure out who it is however. 2004 was not such a good year for me. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Teatime, ink on paper, 2006

Typically I have already failed on day 2 of the resolution to post an old piece a day this week. Well, better to try and fail than not to try. Here's another oldie but goodie, a bit of shameless whimsicality, albeit with perspective that looks a bit off.  The figure is actually a bit of a caricature from memory of a very sweet British woman I knew, not to the best of my knowledge prone to drinking gin at teatime...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

All by Myself

My wife has gone off to Pennsic, so I'm catching up with tasks in the (now infrequently used) painting studio. Looking through a stack of old pieces, I decided I'd try and post an old drawing a day for this week, remind myself that once upon a time I actually found time to draw. This is an old one but a favorite. I always think I'll frame it for myself one day if I only find someplace to hang it.

Two Men with Politics Between Them, pencil 2001

Turtle Day 3

Got back to the creek today and think that the turtle is now more or less finished.  I did a good bit of refining on the face and body and deepening all the undercut portions as well as adding the pattern on the shell. I may go in and tweak a few things at some point, but its close enough that next time I'll start on carving number two. Votes on whether that should be the turkey or the wolf?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Turtle, Day II

Back last weekend I finally got to return to the first of my three planned carvings at Teaneck Creek Conservancy. It is a turtle, about 12x12x10 inches in a large poplar log. As you can see I made a fair amount of progress, refining the shape of the shell and limbs, and bringing quite a bit of detail into the face. It is supposed to have a somewhat stylized look. I’m happy with it, but the expression isn’t quite what I want it to be yet.  My hope is that one more day will finish it…

Monday, June 25, 2012

Thorns in Progress

Slow (hopefully steady) progress being made on carving for Frenzy into Folly, this fall's exhibit at St Paul the Apostle in NYC. I realize I haven't posted a work in progress pic since the initial roughed out blank. So above is a look at an earlier stage in the process, below is about where it is at now. The face is 80 percent finished, but there is still a lot of work to be done on the clothes and hands. Not to mention the lush steel tendrils that are supposed to be enveloping it... I'm sure that will work out somehow.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Turtle, Day I Carving

After almost a months delay I was finally back this Sunday working on the first of three animal carvings for the recently re-landscaped Labyrinth at Teaneck Creek Conservancy. An afternoon's effort got me this far on the first carving. This turtle is going to be a little more compact than the (now stolen) previous one I did for the conservancy, The shell is a bit exaggeratedly domed and the head and arms more pulled in to try and make a stronger structure for a relatively weak wood (poplar) in a pretty high traffic location. I'm experimenting with coating the piece with light coat of latex based deck sealer after each day's work to try and slow drying and ultimately leave a  protective coat on the final surface, see how it goes...

Thursday, June 7, 2012


In the interesting but probably uninformative visualization category, we have this factory second from something I'm working on at work, work. Those who know what I do might guess it's a section of a C. elegans lineage, the meaning of the dots is currently shrouded in mystery, but I enjoy the fact that they remind me of fruit...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit, Spring 2012

A quick note of self promotion. I'll be in the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit this weekend and next, May 26, 27, 28 and June 2 and 3 noon-6pm. I'll be between 9th and 10th on the west side of University Place, NYC. Stop by if you're downtown.Check out their website for more info

Monday, May 21, 2012

It's a Start

 After one day rained out, and another with my seldom used gas saw nonfunctional, its carburetor having mysteriously wandered from the factory default, I finally got down to Teaneck Creek to trim and bark this log. It will ultimately be a turtle (sitting on the top of a post), one of three animal totems I'm carving for the labyrinth. It is going to be almost a month before I'm going to get another free day to get down there, so I'm glad I've got this (and the other two logs) trimmed and up on spacers, in the hope they'll stay bug and mold free(ish) at least till I get to carve them...  

Note the cottonwood fuzz which is so heavy on the ground you'd think it had snowed.

Friday, May 18, 2012



This is carving related only in that an old self portrait of mine is in the icon, but it is book related. Somewhat implausible as it might seem I just posted my first blog on Currently the plan is I'm reading works by famous Carmelites and seeing where that leads. I've been reading works by and about Edith Stein, an author whose writings I always meant to read, but never got to before this. Both the reading and moonlighting as a writer (proof that anyone can get published on the internet) has been fun, but judge the results for yourself:

Monday, May 14, 2012

No more bees

In the interesting to me but nobody else department the swarming bees outside my apartment are now departed, hopefully to a comfortable hollow tree, but having been there for several days left behind this tiny cute honey comb, which I keep eying thinking I may grab it to finish a carving with...

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012